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Virtual Orientation FAQ

Western Carolina University is offering two programming options for students joining the University in Fall 2021, an online only session and an August Hybrid session.  Registration for Summer 2021 orientaion will open on Tuesday, March 16th.  Transfer students joining WCU for summer classes will only be able to participate in online orientation sessions due to classes taking place prior to the August Hybrid sessions.

Explore our frequently asked questions below. Feel free to contact us at

You can register for online orientation or the August Hybrid program starting Tuesday, March 16th through your MyWCU account by completing Pre-Registration.

At the end of your Pre-Registration survey, you will be given several options to register for orientation: if you are interested in participating in the online only session you will select the session on May 31st (for all incoming Fall  students and incoming Summer First-Year students) or May 24th (for incoming Summer Transfer students only), and if you are interested in the August Hybrid sessions you will select the August date that you most prefer.  Please note, online orientation must be completed by all incoming students.  Once you have paid deposits, completed Pre-Registration, registered for Orientation, and paid the $50 or $85 orientation fee you will be emailed access to the course beginning in late May.  Please complete the course within 2-3 days of receiving access to the course.  The final deadline to complete online orientation is Friday, July 2nd.

A $50 payment (for online orientation) or an $85 payment (for August Hybrid) will need to be made via your myWCU account or the Banner Special Payment Portal.

Online orientation will cost $50 per student and the August Hybrid session will cost $85 per student.  This price was determined based on costs associated with student-staffing, office overhead, and miscellaneous expenses associated with an online program and an in-person program.

Online orientation access will be granted starting Monday, May 24th (for Summer Transfer students only) and May 31st (for all other students) once you have paid deposits, completed Pre-Registration, registered for Orientation, and paid the $50 or $85 orientation fee.  Please complete the course within 2-3 days of your receiving access to the course. 

Please complete the course within 2-3 days of your receiving access to the course, the absolute last deadline for all students to complete the program is Friday, July 2nd.

Yes, all incoming first-year and transfer undergraduate students are required to complete online orientation before enrolling at WCU.  Students who have elected to participate in the August Hybrid session are still required to complete the online portion of orientation prior to their in-person section.

While orientation is required for incoming students, sessions have always been optional for family members and guests.

With this in mind, the New Student Orientation office is creating the online and August Hybrid orientation session for students only at this time.  Any plans for parents and guests that may be available for Summer 2021 will be announced once approved at a later date. 

You will still get your schedule during your online orientation just like you would during an in-person orientation session. Your Academic Advisor will build your preliminary schedule using answers from your Pre-Registration survey.

The mandatory portions of online orientation will take place in Canvas, our campus learning management software. The course will appear on the student’s Canvas account once online orientation opens and the registration fee has been paid.

Yes!  Student's will have an option to register for an in-person August Hybrid session for an additional $35 bringing the total cost for orientation to $85 ($50 is the cost for online orientation which is still required).

Students who elect to complete the August-Hybrid program will be required to complete the online orientation just like those who have elected to participate in the online-only program; however, they will also select a date for an in-person orientation in August that will focus on enhancing that experience with programming designed to maximize social interaction and getting to know our campus and your fellow new students better.  This program will have a one-day in-person session that will run from 10am-2pm in August.  As mentioned above, the online portion of the program will open on May 31st  and must be completed prior to July 2nd. 

As of now, the dates for the August Hybrid sessions of orientation will take place on:

  • August 9
  • August 10
  • August 12
  • August 13
  • August 16
  • August 18
  • August 19
  • August 20

  Yes, at current time each session only allows for 75 students to register; however, that may expand or decrease based on COVID-19 related restrictions for on-campus events.  It is important to register early if you are interested in participating in the in-person programming to reserve your spot!

We are working with WCU's IT department to provide all services and information that a student would receive during an in-person orientation in an online setting, including getting laptops configured for WCU.

More information on WCU computer specifications

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